It’s a cold November morning here in Kansas City. I have no home, no job, no food, no transportation, no friends, no family, no clothes but what I am wearing and the one extra shirt I am carrying in a plastic bag, and three dirty one dollar bills some man in a suit gave me out front of Starbucks just a little bit ago. I really appreciated that $3 because now I can grab a bagel and a cup of coffee for breakfast. I am hungry.
My main concerns today are where I am going to eat, where am I going to sleep and how I am going to stay warm. It’s hard to think beyond today, because if tomorrow is like today then it’s too much to bear, so I don’t think about it. I have no plan but to survive today. I am sad.
People don’t look at me, oh yes they see me, but they don’t acknowledge me for fear I may hurt them, or ask them for money. I am not a part of society, I am outside of it. Regular people on the streets don’t seem to care; I am a bum, a no-good bum who should just go get a job and work for a living. I am broken.
How can I get a job? I have no clothes, I smell bad, I don’t interact well with others since people won’t dare talk to me I’ve lost practice. What’s normal, me or them? I really don’t know, I have forgotten. I’ve been homeless for four years now, that’s almost 1500 days I’ve been on the streets, it’s almost all I can remember. I am prisoner to the streets. I am scared.
I guess the worst part of being homeless is that I feel so alone. Oh I talk to a few of my fellow homeless comrades when at the soup kitchen, but that is pretty superficial conversation, “Hi, how are you?” crap. I do talk a little to the people that run the soup kitchen, and they are nice, and I really appreciate what they do for me. I understand they are trying to help and they even care about me, but their not my friend, not really. Their like the cashier at a grocery store. I am alone in a crowded city, and it’s the worse feeling ever!
My one wish, even more than the money I panhandle for, is that you would just acknowledge me. Look me in the eye, say “hello” or “how are you?” Treat me like a human being, like a person, a person with a heart, a soul. I have feelings too ya know? I have grown a little callous over the years, but you can soften me up, you can make me feel like a normal person again. Just love me, respect me because I am a person too. I am homeless, but I am a person too.
I want to accomplish one thing in my life, besides being a great husband, a great father and having a great head of hair! And that one thing is to help people have healthier happier relationships!